The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series will feature Michael Eric Dyson, New York Times bestselling author, discussing his new book "The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
About The Black Presidency: Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race—as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes?
Dyson explores whether Obama’s use of his own biracialism as a radiant symbol has been driven by the president’s desire to avoid a painful moral reckoning on race. And he sheds light on identity issues within the black power structure, telling the fascinating story of how Obama has spurned traditional black power brokers, significantly reducing their leverage.
President Obama’s own voice—from an Oval Office interview granted to Dyson for this book—along with those of Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Maxine Waters, among others, add unique depth to this profound tour of the nation’s first black presidency.
About the Author: Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. A former factory worker, an ordained Baptist minister and a onetime church pastor, Dr. Dyson earned a Ph.D. in religion from Princeton, and has also taught at Brown, Columbia, the University of North Carolina, DePaul University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dyson has written 17 books, including national best sellers on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the rapper Tupac Shakur. The New York Times named his book Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X a notable book of 1995. Dr. Dyson coedited a volume on the rapper Nas, titled Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic. He has been cited in verses by the rappers KRS-One, Nas, Black Thought and Killer Mike. Dr. Dyson has been celebrated as one of the nation’s most visible public intellectuals. He has appeared on every major television and radio show, from the Today Show to Real Time With Bill Maher, and formerly hosted his own talk show on public radio. He also serves as a political analyst for MSNBC.